January 24 – With the President’s State of the Union address that night, Justice Campaigns advocates around the country begin mobilizing others to ask the President to make slavery a priority. Goal set: 27,000 signatures (symbolizing the 27 million slaves around the world).
February 29 – We meet our goal of 27,000 signatures for President Obama, but decide to build on this momentum to mobilize even more voices (see a video from Holly).
March 11 – 72 Days for Freedom Campaign launches – Atlanta’s Passion City Church joins Justice Campaigns to turn the 27,000 number upside down and sets a new goal of 72,000 signatures asking President Obama to help end slavery..
April 5 – Your Voices Heard:West Virginia became the 49th state to pass a criminal law against human trafficking. The bill criminalizes both labor and sex trafficking and authorizes training for law enforcement to help them identify and investigate trafficking cases. Advocates throughout West Virginia had worked hard to lay the groundwork for this bill’s passing, including IJM state advocacy leaders Travis Wirt and Kendra Rogers, who worked to educate their state legislators about the bill and were invited to attend the bill signing.
June 20 – IJM Justice Campaigns announces Recipe for Change, its first-ever domestic supply chain advocacy campaign to end slavery in Florida’s tomato fields. Celebrity bloggers, food advocates and hundreds of others joined us to spread the word. Nearly 8,000 emails were sent to CEOs from major supermarkets that have not signed onto the Fair Food Program, and more than 3,000 tweets shared our message.
November 14 - The Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking is formed, co-chaired by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rob Portman (R-OH). This Caucus will provide a multijurisdictional forum where members can come together to combat human trafficking. Senator Portman's championing in the fight against slavery was emboldened through the advocacy of thousands of Ohioans.
November 27: The U.S. State Department, the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center honors IJM President and CEO Gary Haugen as the second American to receive this year’s TIP Hero award. At the reception, they also unveil the film Journey to Freedom, which includes stories of anti-trafficking victims and heroes—a film played in U.S. Embassies around the globe.
As we wrap up this year and look back on these victories from 2012 which we share together, let’s be encouraged about our journey ahead. As Holly puts it, now the hard work begins, but 2012 has shown us better than ever that together we are capable of moving the needle.
We’re so grateful to be in this together with you—thank you for leading the fight to end slavery with us.